To the shores of Tripoli: After 6 long months of war, the rebels in Libya have finally achieved victory. Earlier in the year, rebel forces, inspired by previous rebellions in Tunisia and Egypt, began fighting against the forces of Libya’s 42-year incumbent “Leader and guide of the revolution” Moammar Gadhafi. The conflict has been at a standstill in the past few months, but rebels finally got a much needed edge when part of Gadhafi’s security forces surrendered to the rebels, allowing them to enter the capitol of Tripoli and secure victory. Gadhafi himself has yet to be captured, but two of his sons were arrested on Sunday. It’s hard to tell what direction Libya’s new government will take at this stage in the game, but for now it’s just good to see another old dictator on his way out.
Shepherd Bend: Last week, the Alabama Environmental Management Commission voted unanimously to approve the permit for the 1,773-acre coal mine on the Mulberry Fork of the Black Warrior River. The mine, which would be less than 1,000 feet from one of Birmingham’s primary water intake facilities, has been challenged by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and Black Warrior Riverkeeper. According to the SELC, the vote ignored evidence from the Riverkeeper and the Birmingham Water Works Board. The Black Warrior Riverkeeper is working to appeal the vote.
Trimming the fat: According to The Birmingham News, State Senator Del Marsh has pledged $320,000 of his office’s budget to making state government more efficient. The Auburn University in Montgomery’s Center for Government and Public Affairs will work with the state government to eliminate redundancy in some of the different agencies around the state. “We believe . . . that the efficiencies and monies saved out of it will far exceed the cost that I have taken out of my budget and put into this project,” Marsh said. One of their main goals is to control rising health care costs in the state. Government efficiency is all well and good, but all that money is only going towards improving state government. We’re still in hot water here in Jefferson County.